UPDATE: Manslaughter Charge Added to Case Against Hit-and-Run Driver

The suspect has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The William Street municipal parking lot in the Byram section of Greenwich where a woman was struck by a car early Dec. 28, 2013. Photo credit: Barbara Heins
The William Street municipal parking lot in the Byram section of Greenwich where a woman was struck by a car early Dec. 28, 2013. Photo credit: Barbara Heins
By Greenwich Patch Editor Barbara Heins

[READ: Friends and family are paying tribute to the 21-year-old victim, Meghan Beebe.]

Update: 9:25 a.m. Dec. 31

A manslaughter charge has been added in the case against the driver arrested in connection with the Greenwich hit-and-run accident  that killed a 21-year-old college student.

According to Connecticut Judicial Branch records, when Vyacheslav Cherepov appeared in state Superior Court in Stamford on Dec. 30, hours after his arrest by Greenwich Police, a second-degree manslaughter charge was lodged against him. He also faces the original charge of evading responsibility—death/serious injury.

Cherepov, who lives on Danbury Road in Ridgefield and worked in a restaurant in Byram, pleaded not guilty to the charges and was ordered held without bond. He is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 21, according to court records.

Cherepov was arrested after a Greenwich Police officer spotted his car — a red 2006 Pontiac G6 — parked in the William Street parking in the Byram neighborhood of Greenwich on Dec. 29. It was in that parking lot that Meghan K. Beebe, of Middlebury, was struck by the car about 2 a.m. Dec. 28. She became pinned beneath the car and was dragged through the lot, down William Street and for three blocks along South Water Street, police said. 

An unidentified neighbor saw her lying in the street, police have said. A female companion with whom Beebe reportedly visited a neighborhood restaurant earlier in the evening, tried to stop the driver, who police said stopped briefly before driving off with Beebe beneath the car.

Beebe died hours later at Stamford Hospital.

Updated: 2 p.m., Dec. 30:

A worker for a Byram-area restaurant has been arrested on a charge he hit a woman in a neighborhood parking lot early Saturday, stopped briefly and then drove away, dragging the victim who was caught beneath the car for four blocks.

According Greenwich Police spokesman Lt. Kraig Gray, Vyacheslav Cherepov, 26, of Ridgefield, was arrested late Sunday, Dec. 29, hours after police say they found the car they believed was involved in the 2 a.m. crash on Dec. 28 was back in the William Street municipal parking lot. It was in that parking lot that Meghan K. Beebe, 21, of upstate Middlebury, was struck by a red 2006 Pontiac G6 sedan.

According to Gray, a female companion of Beebe’s tried to stop the driver. It was then that Cherepov drove away with Beebe pinned beneath the car, Gray said. Police have said that Beebe was dragged through the parking lot, down William Street where Cherepov reportedly turned onto South Water Street and drove three blocks.

Beebe was found laying in the street — near Division Street — by an unidentified nearby resident. Beebe was brought to Stamford Hospital where she died hours later of her injuries. Gray said an autopsy was to be performed on Monday.

Meanwhile on Monday, Cherepov, who is a resident alien from Russia, was charged with evading responsibility: serious physical injury. He was to be arraigned Monday in state Superior Court in Stamford. He was in police custody, unable to post a court-set bond of $500,000.

Police did not identify Beebe’s companion. Gray said the women had been out in the neighborhood that is home to several restaurants and bars, some of which are within walking distance across the Mill Street bridge from Port Chester.

Gray also could not say which restaurant employed Cherepov. Gray said that police were able to identify the car that struck Beebe by using “pieces of the car” left at the accident scene. The Pontiac had been modified. Gray described it as a “low-rider with air scoops and an air ram.”

Asked whether alcohol played a role for either the driver or the victim, Gray said, “It would be premature for me to discuss this. “

Gray said, “She was out that evening with her friends.”  As the women were in the parking lot, the car struck Beebe. Her friend tried to stop the driver.

“She went and said ‘my God you just hit my friend’ to the driver of the car. The driver of the car, realizes what happens, pauses briefly, and then flees,” Gray said during a Monday press conference at Greenwich Police headquarters. “He drove right over her.” 

“It was a horrific accident … it doesn’t get much worse than this,” Gray said.

According to Connecticut Judicial Branch records, Cherepov pleaded guilty to a 2007 a misdemeanor charge of illegal possession of marijuana in state Superior Court in Danbury.

Update at 11:25 a.m. Dec. 30:

Greenwich Police have arrested a suspect in the fatal hit-and-run crash in which a 21-year-old Middlebury woman was killed.

The suspect, Vyacheslav Cherepov, 26, whose last known address is Danbury Road in Ridgefield, was arrested Dec. 30 on a charge of evading responsibility: serious injury. He is being held on a court-set bond of $500,000.

The victim has also been identified. Police said her name is Meghan K. Beebe. 

Cherepov was arrested after police say the suspect vehicle, a red 2006 Pontiac G6, was found in the William Street parking lot where the crash initially occurred about 2 a.m. on Dec. 28. Beebe was retrieving items from a car parked in the lot at the time, police said.

Patch will have more details as they become available.

Update at 4:53 p.m. Dec. 29:

Greenwich Police say they determined the type of car involved in the weekend hit-and-run which crash which killed a 21-year-old college student in Byram.

In a statement released late Sunday afternoon, police said they have determined that the vehicle "is likely a Pontiac G6 Model Year 2005-2010 either burgundy or dark red in color." The victim was hit as she retrieved items from a car parked in the William Street municipal parking lot in Byram at about 2 a.m. on Dec. 27, police said.

She was dragged more than three blocks down Mill Street before the driver apparently stopped near the former Hasco Electric Co., according to police.

Here is the police statement:

"We continue to investigate a fatal hit and run MV Pedestrian Accident that occurred Saturday morning in the Byram section of town located along the NY border and adjacent to I95.

"Investigation has determined the evading vehicle is likely a Pontiac G6 Model Year 2005-2010 either burgundy or dark red in color. The vehicle has tinted windows and is believed to be bearing front and rear Connecticut license plates."

Police still have not released the identity of the woman, who they said is a college student originally from Middlebury.

Anyone with any information should contact the investigating officer, Traffic Technician Drenth, at 203-622-8014 or by email at tips@greenwichct.org

Original story:

A 21-year-old Middlebury woman was the victim of a fatal hit-and-run accident in Greenwich early Saturday morning.

The victim, whose identity has not yet been released, was retrieving items from a vehicle parked in the William Street lot in Byram when the suspect vehicle entered the lot and struck her, Greenwich Police said. The suspect stopped briefly and then fled the area, dragging the victim beneath the car, according to police.

The accident took place at about 2 a.m. on Dec. 28, in a parking lot in the Byram section of Greenwich, near the border with New York. 

The female victim, who police said was a student, was transported to Stamford Hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries.

A local road in the area was closed till about 10:30 a.m. while emergency crews investigated and cleaned the scene.

Description of the Suspect and Vehicle

At this time, police said, the make and model of the vehicle that fled the scene is unknown. It is believed to be a dark red or cranberry color sedan that is low to the ground, with chrome wheels and possibly tinted windows. It may have front-end damage from the accident, police said.  

Police said the suspect is described as a white male, possibly Hispanic, with short brown buzzed cut hair. He is reportedly tan with good skin, brown eyes, and brown eyebrows. Police added that he is skinny and appears to be young, and was last wearing a long sleeved shirt with a gold chain and cross.

Anyone within information is asked to contact Officer Roger Drenth of the Greenwich Police Department at 203-622-8014.

MAC December 30, 2013 at 02:22 PM
What a scumbag this Cherepov is, to not only hit a young woman with his car, but then drag her--still living and breathing--and then FLEE the scene!...................................................................... What a tragic ending to a young woman's life, and to think that she might have lived, if instead of dragging her body, he had immediately stopped and called 911.
Scott Cowden December 30, 2013 at 04:19 PM
"Cherepov, who is a resident alien from Russia, was charged with evading responsibility: serious physical injury" That's ALL this idiot was charged with??? You gotta be kidding me. He deserves life + 100 years. THEN deport what's left of him.
Cath December 30, 2013 at 08:41 PM
Deserves the death penalty if you ask me. I can't believe he just went back to work and parked in the same lot like nothing had happened. Sociopath. rip sweet girl.
Sean December 31, 2013 at 11:55 AM
The Death Penalty was repealed in CT.
Nancy Tortorici January 04, 2014 at 08:54 AM
This "Cherepov" continued driving after he was warned that he ran over this young woman and dragged her body several blocks instead of stopping and calling 911. He was aware of his actions and deserves life. Words cannot justify the severity of this tragedy.
Sean January 04, 2014 at 04:48 PM
He deserves the needle.


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